Trade Show Ideas

Easy and Effective Event Marketing with Portable Trade Show Booths

Event Marketing with Portable Trade Show BoothsStress-Free Mobile Marketing with Portable Trade Show Displays

Have you ever watched a trade show manager at work? Shipping manifest in one hand and cell phone pressed to her ear, she tried to bring order out of chaos. Scanning a crowded exhibit hall for a late display vendor, she watches the clock as the limited time available for set up slips away and a critical part of her booth remains AWOL. If you’ve ever been that unlucky manager you know the helpless feeling of depending on others to make your display pop. But opt for inflatable and portable trade show booths and you might just find your next event is stress free.

Easy to Use Even in Troublesome Venues

Missing parts aren’t the only thing that can go wrong at a trade show. There are plenty of other opportunities to stumble as well. Workers who don’t show up, unloading schedules that don’t allow enough time for set up, and inconvenient booth locations that put a damper on necessary assembly work all take their toll on your stress levels.

Choose portable trade show booths, though, and you’ll avoid many of those disasters. First, you’ll have no need for a set-up crew. Inflatables are simple to assemble and can be easily handled by just two people. The small footprint makes it easy to fit in even the most crowded expo, and they slide easily into the back of practically any SUV or minivan. What’s more, they’re fast to inflate and equally quick to take down, so you’ll never be stuck working a 24-hour shift just to get your booth up and going.

Outdoor Shows are No Match for Inflatables

Outdoor events present their own unique challenges. Portable shelters help you stand out in a crowd while providing a bit of extra insurance against the weather. In fact, your inflatable tent will draw an even bigger crowd if it does rain, as people head for the nearest piece of dry land. Best of all, inflatable domes and tents are just as impressive at indoor shows, so there’s no need for additional displays.

Grab Their Attention with Interactive Displays

Portable sports cages are a great way to introduce your brand to new customers with a fun game, while allowing your booth attendants time to connect. If a sports theme doesn’t match your brand, you can still add interest to your booth with portable stage props. Virtually anything can be reproduced as an inflatable, so let your creative juices flow and design a portable trade show booth that will wow your visitors.

Cost Effective Design and Transportation

With the price of fuel continuing to rise, transportation costs are a critical part of your trade show budget. Lugging truckloads of display materials from venue to venue isn’t economical, but inflatable booths help cut your expenses. Inflatables are lightweight and pack neatly into small containers. That adds up to big savings compared to moving traditional displays.

Inflatables also let you get the most out of your advertising dollar with their fantastic flexibility. Did you recently rebrand? Last year’s booth can be easily updated to match this year’s color and logo change. Even if you didn’t make a drastic change, fresh artwork added to your booth gives you an updated look for a minimal cost.

When you hit the trade show road this year, an easy-to-use portable trade show display can take you from harried event coordinator to relaxed and easygoing spokesperson. With less set-up time and a truly unique presentation, not only will you have more time to spend with customers, you’ll have more customers to spend time with.

Need creative ideas for your next mobile marketing tour? View mobile marketing tour inflatables in our online gallery!

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3 Best Places to Use Inflatable Product Replicas

Life-like Inflatable Product Replicas

While custom inflatables are used in a wide variety of ways to attract attention and increase sales, there are three distinct places we see marketers effectively using product replicas: trade shows, product launches and outdoor promotions.

CEO Rick Malagodi (Right) at Toy Fair 2012 in NYC


Create Buzz at Trade Shows with Large-Scale Versions of Your Product

Want to make a lasting impression at your next trade show event? Try using a custom replica of your product. Not only do inflatable replicas attract attention and create buzz, but they can be easily designed to integrate into an existing trade show booth.

Physical App’s Uses Inflatable “The O” Display to Create Buzz

Physical Apps, LLC showcased “The O” at Toy Fair 2012 in New York City. “The O” is a snazzy orange ball that works with smart devices, enabling fun games and activities to be played by children and adults alike  To get more visibility for “The O” at the show, CEO Rick Malagodi created a large-scale inflatable lookalike as part of their exhibit space. The result: the press, retailers, and suppliers flocked to their small sized booth on the show floor. With all this buzz it was no surprise “The O” won the Best of Toy Fair 2012 Award.

Replicas of GE Profile Washer & Dryer in Times Square


Get Extra Media Coverage & Attention by Unveiling a Gigantic Replica at a High Profile Venue

New product development is the heart of corporate expansion; a successful product launch can increase positive branding & strengthen customer loyalty. Because they’re enormous and unusual, custom inflatable replicas are guaranteed to draw attention to new products and increase brand remembrance at product launch events.

Inflatable Replicas of GE Profile Washer & Dryer Introduced in Times Square

To launch the GE Profile front-load washer and dryer system in 2008, a New York based creative agency placed 40-foot tall product replicas in the middle of Times Square. The guerilla marketing campaign was a success; bringing attention to the GE brand and earning more than 125 million press impressions. (Read more about this creative campaign: GE Appliances – High Profile Pair In The Square)

Inflatable Wine Bottle at Glassboro Vintage SJ Wine Festival


Reinforce Product Recognition at Outdoor Festivals & Events with Giant Versions of Your Packaged Products

As marketers look for innovative ways to win the hearts & minds of consumers, outdoor promotions are becoming an important part of the marketing mix. Custom product replicas allow brands to stand out among competitors at outdoor events by adding visual appeal and instant product recognition that can be seen from far and wide.

Inflatable Wine Bottle Replica for Valenzano Winery Stands Out Among Competitors

Valenzano Winery of New Jersey uses a 15-foot tall inflatable replica of their wine bottle to get noticed at festivals and various outdoor events. Standing several feet higher than most booths, the inflatable wine bottle attracts crowds with ease and creates a fun photo opportunity. Be sure to check out Valenzano Winery for a list of upcoming events including the Independence Day Fireworks Festival and WineFest 2012.

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Cesco Products Uses Inflatable Billboard at Trade Shows

Inflatable Case History Brief #L0192

Inflatable Billboard for Cesco Products

Who: Cesco Products
What: Inflatable Cloud Billboard
Where: Trade Shows
When: Winter 1999
Why: To Attract Attention At Trade Shows
Inflatable Product Line: Inflatable Billboards & Logos

Cesco Products, an air ventilation manufacturer, wanted to attract attention at trade shows. The inflatable cloud billboard was placed above their trade show exhibit and could be seen from any direction. Attendees of the trade show were drawn to the inflatable cloud and Cesco Products trade show booth.

Looking for a way to get your customers attention? Download our free eBook, Getting Started with Inflatable Logos & Billboards.

The Smart Marketer’s 4-Step Guide to Designing “Trade Show Ready” Inflatables

4 Steps to Make Your Inflatable Trade Show Ready

Designing inflatables for trade show exhibits requires a bit more planning than it does for other events. Trade show marketers have to coordinate with exhibit hall staff, union laborers, fire marshals… the list goes on. If you’re thinking about using custom inflatables at your next trade show event, but feel bit overwhelmed by the logistics, follow these four steps to ensure your inflatable is trade show ready.
Trade Show Inflatables Guide

Step 1: Use Flame Retardant Materials to Avoid Issues with the Fire Marshal

Make sure you’re only burning the house down figuratively, not literally! Often times trade show exhibitors are required to present a flame retardant certificate for their inflatables at trade shows. Be sure to discuss this with your inflatable manufacturer up-front to avoid any unpleasant surprises later on.

Step 2: Make Travel Arrangements Ahead of Time – There are 2 Ways to Get Your Inflatable to the Exhibit Hall

Using an inflatable prop for your trade show can save money in ways you probably haven’t even thought about. Because inflatables weigh less than most traditional trade show materials, they cost less to ship. Smaller inflatable shapes can pack into a 30″ or smaller bag, so you can avoid handling fees altogether by carrying your inflatable to the exhibit space yourself.

Step 3: Plan for Power – Calculate AMP Requirements and Mark Outlet Location(s)

Plug it in and get it going!  Most trade show inflatables only use about 3 amps of power – similar to a video game console or your home printer.  All you need to do is plan out where your custom inflatable will be and where you’d like outlets to be installed.

Step 4: Order Internal Weights or Design Alternate Tethering to Maximize Visual Impact

Using internal weights, like sandbags, is the most common way to secure an inflatable at a trade show event. Sandbags are a standard item which is easily ordered through exhibit services, providing you plan for it in advance. You might also consider tethering (hanging) an inflatable above your booth to create exceptional visibility and save treasured floor space. Unique tethering options should be discussed with your inflatable manufacturer during the design phase of your project.

An experienced inflatable manufacturer can guide you through each step of getting your inflatable trade show ready and will ask lots of questions about your exhibit space and objectives to help you create an inflatable that will get maximum impact with minimum hassle.

Interested in planning an inflatable for your next trade show event? Contact Landmark today.

Custom Inflatable Designs for Every Trade Show Exhibit Space

Trade Show IdeasWith upcoming events like The SEMA Show just around the corner, automotive marketers everywhere are kicking their exhibit planning into fifth gear. At $25-40 per square foot (the average cost for SEMA Show space), exhibitors have to make sure every inch of their display counts! Are you thinking about adding trade show inflatables to your exhibits? Whether you’re planning a mammoth Island Exhibit or a ten-by-ten Linear Exhibit space, we’ve got some tips for choosing inflatables that will give you the best ROI for your marketing dollars.

From Big to Small: How to Add Custom Inflatables to Your Island, Peninsula and Linear Exhibits

Island Exhibit Inflatables: Go Big or Go Home, The Sky’s The Limit
Island exhibit spaces are the big kahunas of every trade show event. They float in the center of the show offering 360 degree visibility and up to 3000 square feet of space. Custom inflatables can be used inside island exhibits as stand-alone items, as components in larger, fabricated displays or as exhibit space elements. Inflatable tents, archways, product replicas and helium shapes are very popular to give displays some torque. The biggest challenge for designing in island spaces is settling on a final design among the many choices available.

Peninsula Exhibit Spaces: Three Sides Instead of Four
Peninsula, or end cap booths are just like Island Exhibits, but instead they offer 3-sided visibility.  Interactive inflatables, like ball tosses are designed to set-up against a flat surface like the end cap wall, so they provide a natural design element in the space.  When you’re looking for ways to get the trade show attendees interacting with your brand, interactive inflatables can’t be beat. Product replicas and arches also work as a centerpiece for this type of booth for excellent visual advertising.

Linear Exhibit Spaces: Make the Most of Smaller Spaces with Big Creativity
With the limited space of a 10’x10′ linear exhibit, you have to think creatively to stand out from the crowd.  Despite the smaller footprint, there are still lots of ways to incorporate inflatables into your space.  Most often, exhibitors in linear exhibits us smaller (6-8′ tall) inflatable product replicas or logos. Some order smaller, sealed inflatable give-away items to extend the brand experience with attendees after the show. Want to extend your reach beyond the booth? Put a brand ambassador into an inflatable costume to walk the trade show floor. Not only will the inflatable costume take up zero space inside the booth, it can be used for other festivals and events after the show.

Need creative more creative trade show ideas?  Contact Landmark today!

5 Professional Design Tips for Exceptional Inflatable Kiosks

Goosebumps inflatable kioskWhat’s rule #1 of tradeshows?  Separate yourself from all the other exhibitors.  Inflatable kiosks give you the golden opportunity to stand apart from every other pop-up tent and ordinary tradeshow booth on the floor. Inflatable kiosks are popular for product demonstrations and sampling because they’re visually appealing, easy to use and provide large canopy areas. Well-designed kiosks are exceptional because they reinforce your brands and attract attention while maximizing the available space at your events.

Here are 5 professional design tips to follow when creating your new kiosk.

Tip 1:  Consider Shape & Design Elements

When promoting a new product or developing a themed booth; think vertical for the most effectiveness.  If you’re sampling a new coffee, for example, building a kiosk in the shape of the cup will get you noticed from greater distances while reinforcing your brand.

Tip 2: Create Signage and Branding

One of the biggest advantages of inflatable kiosks is their 360-degree signage area. To make sure your design takes advantage of this real estate, consider your signage from all directions. Will other companies sponsor your event, or will you sponsor multiple events? Use removable banners to display messages tailored for each event or sponsor. Some custom kiosks can be fitted for entirely new graphics, saving you the cost of purchasing a new kiosk when the time comes to rebrand.

Tip 3: Calculate Your Inside Measurements

If you’re using your inflatable kiosk for sampling, plan enough room inside the kiosk to store samples and allow for ample working areas. Giving prior thought to the interior space of your kiosk will ensure kiosk operators are comfortable and representing your brand with good cheer; not struggling in tight quarters.

Tip 4:  Work Within The Outside Environment

How much total space do you have available? Will you be limited by tradeshow or outdoor limitations? In addition to the interior footprint, the inflatable itself will require 2 to 4 feet for structural support. Work with your inflatable manufacturer to layout a blueprint of your kiosk based on your needs. Striking the right balance between inside room and outside restrictions is at the heart of creating an effective design.

Tip 5: Plan for Power

Custom inflatable kiosks use a standard electrical plug in (120v GFI) and require a power source. If a wall outlet isn’t available at your events a generator can be easily used; but that’s a consideration you’ll want to plan for ahead of time, not during the event.

Using good design at the beginning of the project ensures that your inflatable will have plenty of messaging space, reinforce your brand and draw traffic to your space for years to come.

For more tips on designing exceptional kiosks and custom inflatables, be sure to download our FREE ebook, Getting Started with Custom Inflatables.

Inflatables Put the Mobile in Mobile Marketing

Meguiar's Inflatable ProductsIt’s funny how the economy works. Areas that take a hard hit can often rebound with surprising strength. The 2009 downturn took a toll on every industry, and marketing was no exception. But according to an article I read recently in the IEG Sponsorship Report, mobile marketing is making a strong comeback. So strong, in fact, that many marketers will get a jump on the traditional season – May through September – and start a whole month early. What’s more, mobile marketing is gaining interest in a wider range of industries.

Automakers and health care companies come to mind first when I think of mobile campaigns. It’s great to now see new organizations grasping the core of event marketing: to get your brand in front of your target customers, and make a personal connection with them. Promoting your brand. Reaching your target audience on a personal level.  Making a connection.  Sounds like something else I’m intimately familiar with… inflatables.

LHP Octane CanCreate a stir during your next mobile marketing tour by offering health food samples from your custom-branded, inflatable kiosk. Or set your inflatable mascot loose in the aisles at a sporting event to hand out coupons for your newly released cleats.  Because inflatables easily inflate, deflate, pack and ship, you’ve got the flexibility to use everything from giant video screens to sports cages without the logistics nightmare. Check out some of these case studies for more ideas.

Better get a move on!  Mobile marketing season is just around the corner.

Draw Trade Show Traffic and Attention Cost Effectively

People are naturally curious… they never want to feel they’re being left out or missing something. A classic example is the gawker slowdown caused by a traffic accident. Even if the accident is on the far side of the highway, the near side will slow down as drivers look at the scene. This principle can be put to work to help you draw attention and traffic to your trade show booth.

A giant product replica flying high above your booth is not only eye-catching, it’s also a great way to make your location a ‘landmark’ for your customers and for everyone at the trade show. – “We’re in the aisle next to the giant cereal box.” Inflatables become landmarks by their very nature. You don’t have to pay event promoters bundles to become foremost in the minds of attendees; you just have to plan something GIANT and clever into your booth design. Inflatables are cost effective because the materials and production are much less expensive than giant displays fabricated from hard materials.  They also have much lower transportation costs because they pack into a small bag like the genie from Aladdin in his lamp. This packing advantage also makes them less expensive to store and easy to bring to your next event.

Another option is to create a inflatable mascot costume and let your mascot roam the aisles. Their presence will automatically draw attention. Your mascot can promote your booth location, advertise your show specials and build brand awareness – all at the same time. An inflatable costume also create an opportunity to interact with your customers and start building a relationship with them for you. Read our case study from Cuppy’s Coffee to learn how their mascot costume worked for their kiosks.

An inflatable is an example of pull marketing. They pull attention to you. And we all know that a customer seeking you from their own interest is a strong prospect with a higher probability to purchase.